Christmas City of the North Parade
Parade begins at 6:20 p.m.; ends about 8 p.m.
Broadcast Live on KBJR 6 and Range 11 or online at: NorthlandsNewsCenter.com
The parade route begins at Northland’s NewsCenter Studios in Canal Park (Lake Avenue South and Railroad Street). It travels north on Lake Ave to Superior Street and continues west, ending at 5th Avenue West.
***Access to Lake Avenue; Superior Street and Railroad Street is restricted before and during the event. If you need to get to Amsoil Arena, The DECC or Duluth Cinema in Canal Park, please use 5th Avenue West and Harbor Drive. Best access is to park in one of the FREE ramps downtown and use the skywalk or sidewalks to access Canal Park. *** More From Duluth Police Department
Free parking downtown at these ramps and meters free after 5:00 pm:
- Shoppers Auto Park
- Fourth Avenue Auto Park
- US Bank
- Tech Village
- Medical District Ramp
- East Superior Street Public Ramp
Parade of Memories
The Christmas City of the North Parade dates back to the late 1950’s when the holiday shopping season ran particularly short one year. Original owner of KBJR 6 Bob Rich wanted to give his advertisers an extra retail boost by kicking off the holiday shopping season early. Since then, the parade has marched through downtown Duluth each Friday night before Thanksgiving. It has been nearly as reliable as Santa in the department stores to mark the start of the season.
The marching bands were sidelined just once in 1963 as the nation mourned the death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The event has since survived pouring rain, snow and frigid cold. Even in years when instruments were too cold to produce music, the bands became choirs— using their voices to entertain the loyal parade crowd.
The “Christmas City” song is the signature sound of the parade. In 1962, Merv Griffin recorded the jingle at a local radio station as a favor to the station manager. Now you can download the familiar tune here. What a “nice-icle” way to keep you in the spirit throughout the festive season!